Knowledge, skills, and experience – Health Sciences students excel in undergraduate research

The annual Undergraduate Research Excellence Awards ceremony took place on May 24 at the Ramada Inn in Abbotsford. The well attended, highlight of the year event is hosted by the Research, Engagement, and Graduate Studies department to showcase excellence in undergraduate student research activities across the disciplines – an opportunity unique to the learning experience of UFV students.

Mia Harries, Dr. Kathy Keiver, Alison Pritchard Orr, and Erin Hryhoriw

A total of $25 000 was awarded to 41 student researchers. Students celebrated alongside their family, friends, faculty supervisors, community partners, and senior administration.

Dr. Adrienne Chan, AVP Research, Engagement, and Graduate Studies

The theme for the night was Scrabble. “Anyone who has played Scrabble knows the value of hitting the Triple Word Score. Education’s triple word score includes knowledge, skills, and experience. By combining excellent teaching, skills development, and opportunities to gain hands-on experience, UFV is driven to meet its mandate of providing the best undergraduate education in Canada. Students who participate in research activities hit the triple word score every time,” says Dr. Adrienne Chan, AVP Research, Engagement, and Graduate Studies.

Newly appointed Dean Dr. Alastair Hodges presented the awards to students from the Faculty of Health Sciences. The award for research in kinesiology was presented to Mia Harries. Harries explored working memory and sleep quality in children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder under the direction of faculty supervisors Dr. Kathy Keiver and Alison Pritchard Orr.

Mia Harries

Harries is graduating this year with a Bachelor of Kinesiology in Exercise Science. She will be attending UBC Medical School in the fall. “I chose to conduct this study to enhance my understanding of some of the underlying principles of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. This research project has allowed me to leverage my academic knowledge with critical thinking and working with special populations, a unique experience that will equip me in my future career,” she says.

Karen Pickford and Shelley Canning

Dean Hodges presented the award for research in nursing to Karen Pickford. Pickford explored perceptions of health risks in older adult populations under the faculty supervision of Shelley Canning.

Pickford is a Licensed Practical Nurse currently bridging into her third year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Pickford hopes to continue her studies at a graduate level in nursing or health policy. Her goal is to expand her career focus to include leadership of health care teams and advocacy for older adults.

“My research was based on thoughts and questions that originated from my personal nursing experiences. It was an excellent opportunity to develop research skills and strengthen my understanding of how research is incorporated into clinical practice,” notes Pickford.

Erin Hryhoriw

Erin Hryhoriw was also recognized for the award she received at Student Research Day. Hryhoriw’s research focused on motor skill deficits in children with FASD and the ways in which assessments are performed and analyzed. Her investigation looked at assessment of gross motor and fine motor skills, and the tools used to measure discrepancies and make improvements through intervention programs. Hryhoriw is a kinesiology student working with Dr. Kathy Keiver and Alison Pritchard Orr.

For more information about research at UFV or to support student research, contact the Research, Engagement, and Graduate Studies department.